It is no secret the Pirates got less than acceptable performance out of the catcher position in 2019. The two main reasons for this Cervelli and Diaz coming no where near their 2018 performance. I feel part of the pitching woes is due to the fact Cervelli wasn’t out there and when he was the pitching was generally better.
Catching is a huge need for the team if they want to have any chance in 2020. One of the bigger names out there is Yasmani Grandal, but he won’t be cheap having declined his $16M option with the Brewers.
Yazmani has five straight seasons of a 4+ fWAR. In those seasons he hit 117HRs an .806 OPS and 112 OPS+. his average leaves to be desired but his OBP and Power make up for it. He has power and gets on base both of which are very desirable. He also has a very good glove on top of his bat.
Now Grandal won’t get the years or the money either of those two got but a four to six year deal worth 100 to 150 million is not out of the realm of possibility for him.
So yeah that is a lot of money the Pirates do not typically spend and likely won’t here. However… a new general manager may want to make a splash at a key position. If you are going to do that, this is a good place to do so.
In my armchair GM opinion, I’d offer him 6 years at $20m, $20m, $25, $27.5, 27.5m, 25m, plus three years of team options valued at $20m per year with buy outs of $5m/$3m/$2m. At minimum this would give him $25.8 AAV and $155M in total guaranteed or $210m if the options are picked up.
Is this really doable for the Pirates? Probably. Will they do it? Likely no. The only reason to do so is if they are making a serious run for the playoffs in 2020 and fill in other gaps with quality plus players. In that case the payroll would sky rocket.